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How would YOU mix OTB with the new API MODEL1608? Dynamics Plugins
Old 26th August 2007
  #1
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jindrich's Avatar
 

How would YOU mix OTB with the new API MODEL1608?

Besides bringing up again the eternal ITB vs OTB question over here, the new API 1608 is making us think a lot about future new plans, and I for one find analog mix 1000% easier and faster:

1st Pass: Bring up faders, adjust overall levels, EQ here and there. 2nd Pass, comp here and there, little some more EQ. 3rdPass: tweak FXs, final levels. DONE.

Of course you can complicate that 100 times, but you get the point. Anyhow the 1608 as small as it is, helps IMO bring the focus back to MUSIC with its KISS factor (Keep It Simple Stupid). Besides, a 16ch Hi-End desk is easy and fast to recall unlike the old beasts of the past. The combo looks quite appealing: ProTools as the "fixing problems" platform and the heart of the mix done on the API.
So in an scenario where the 1608 would be the front end to an HD with 16 I/Os, what would be your "TLA/CLA template"?

(I mean, 16 outs from a ProTools Session going to the API for MIXING. Remember the MODEL1608 has 16 inputs, 8 busses and 8 mono FX returns)

As an example:


INPUTS (16)
-1 Kick
-2 Snare
-3+4 ST mix of rest of DrumKit
-5 Bass
-6+7+8+9 Guitars
-10+11+12 Voices
-13+14 Piano/Synths/Noises set1
-15+16 Piano/Synths/Noises set2

(basically 12 inputs for the basics, plus 4 chs for tracks that need further attention)

BUSSES (8)
-1+2 Drums
-3+4 Guitars
-5+6 Vox
-7+8 Synths/Piano/Noises

(it would be nice FOR MIXING to be able to control the SUBs with 100mm FADERS here. I guess this is doable in some way IMO if you ask API to implement them)

RETURNS (8)
-1+2 TC4000 for Hall
-3+4 Lex91 for Room
-5+6 Rumour for Plate
-7+8 H3000/Lex 81 for Delays, Chorus


(surely the API1608+ProToolsHD will also be paired with some Hardware INSERTS, usual suspects: LA2A (LeadVOX), 1176/distressor (Kick, Snare, someGuit, Bass,) Portico 5043 (DrumMIx), SSLG+/clone for (ST Bus). GML EQ on St Bus, Blah blah blah......
Please DONT answer this one, is not part of the question).


So, what's your take?
Old 26th August 2007
  #2
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Not really many choices with the 16 channels, that would probably be the default for most. The subgroups OTOH could be used for many things besides grouping the 16 channels - which isn't that nessecary since there's only 16 channels. Things like parallel comping etc.
Old 26th August 2007
  #3
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Man do I dislike limitations.
Old 26th August 2007
  #4
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Personally, I'd spend another 5k and throw in a couple of 8200a's in there and have 32 channels to mix. Then you have a good exuse to keep all your outboard EQs and stuff
Old 27th August 2007
  #5
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numrologst's Avatar
but 8 busses is still pushing it for subgroubs, efx, parallel, etc.

I'm trying to think of a way around the lack of busses. Which means maybe sending a parallel submix out from itb, using compressors with wet/dry mix control, doing reverb and efx sends itb
Old 27th August 2007
  #6
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with 16 channels and 8 mono returns don't you think 'OTB' is kind of a eufemism? a large part would have to be done ITB even if you had the 32 channel version. nothing wrong with that, i'm just sayin'.

the thing is so pretty though you kinda wanna justify buying it eh? who can blame you?
Old 27th August 2007
  #7
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numrologst's Avatar
I don't know man... 24-32 channels can be dealt with. At least for the way I work...

You could take: Drums, bass, vox, and guitars pretty easily on 16 channels

then you could have a tonelux setup or api summing mixer to take the mix of the 1608.

Then run a few mono channels into the summing mixer... Along with a 1 or 2 submixes... Then all the subgroup compressor and efx returns.

My feeling is that as long as you are running the meat of the song through the console, everything else can be submixed and summed on a line mixer or summing box
Old 27th August 2007
  #8
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Speaking as someone who has done much of my mixing on a purist Manley 16x2 (with a patchbay and a healthy compliment of outboard), I can tell you that it's all about making smart decisions as to what to do within the computer and what to bring out to its own channels. It's really not that hard and it's kind of fun.

It's not a sin to use computer summing for most things, y'know...

Remember, a lot of highly esteemed pros are mixing entirely in the computer these days and getting great results (check out the new Suzanne Vega disc). If you get the 1608, focus on what you can do instead of what you can't.

You still have Pro Tools, remember? Think of the 1608 as a massive bonus...

- c

p.s. We're going to buy a 1608 ourselves, btw...
Old 27th August 2007
  #9
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GYang's Avatar
With 16 ch expansion I expect 32 ch to be OK. I am used to 32 ch configuration already, after all summing boxes might help to expend a bit whole thing.
I don't need big desk, it's not necessary indeed.
Old 27th August 2007
  #10
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Silvertone's Avatar
I use an Electrodyne 16x4 console. It really depends on the song. As Chad (Silver Sonya) said this can be great fun. In some cases I break it out the way you described, in other cases I don't even use all 16 channels.

The mojo of the board adds life to digital, makes it sound more 3D. Of course this probably has more to do with separation and distortion on the individual channels and groups (kind of a natural dither). I would expect the API console to do the same.

See you at the API booth Chad.

btw Chad, you wouldn't happen to have any pictures from TapeOpCon when we were on the mastering panel with Calbi do you? I've been meaning to ask some of the other guys on that panel.

Anybody else?

Don't mean to hijack the thread, back to OTB mixing now...
Old 27th August 2007
  #11
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Hey Larry! One of my favorite people...

No, I don't have any pictures. I have fond memories of that experience; hanging out w/ you and all of those wonderful engineers... people who I had previously admired from afar and finally got a chance to really get to know. And needless to say, Greg Calbi is as elegant and refined a gentleman as he is an engineer. Humbling.

RE: API booth: yeah, I'll see you there!! Looking forward to it!

- c
Old 28th August 2007
  #12
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Hey Larry! One of my favorite people...

No, I don't have any pictures. I have fond memories of that experience; hanging out w/ you and all of those wonderful engineers... people who I had previously admired from afar and finally got a chance to really get to know. And needless to say, Greg Calbi is as elegant and refined a gentleman as he is an engineer. Humbling.

RE: API booth: yeah, I'll see you there!! Looking forward to it!

- c
Same here Chad, fond memories and lots of fun. Calbi is the best, one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet in the business.

If you ever run across any pictures please let me know.

Any other Slutz at the TapeOpCon in 2005 (last one in New Orleans) have pictures of the mastering seminar?

I'll see you at the API booth Chad, I think Friday is the only day I'll get to be there, the schedule has been off the wall this year!
Old 29th August 2007
  #13
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrox247 View Post
Man do I dislike limitations.

limitations are key to happiness. i sh¡t you not.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 29th August 2007
  #14
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u b k's Avatar
 

How would YOU mix OTB with the new API MODEL1608?

stoned. with a big smile.

orange headphones optional, lava lamp mandatory.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
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Old 29th August 2007
  #15
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AEs just got lazy.

That we can nowadays use a billion tracks per song doesn't mean we have to.

Listen carefully to all the great songs of the last 50 years. You'll realize that what really shapes those songs are less than 10 key tracks. Pull them out and there's no song whatsoever. Bring them back and take the remaining tracks out, and the song still sounds great. You might not even notice some (or many) tracks were omitted.

Let's go back to Music. The new API 1608 might limit you, but helps you concentrate on what's really important. Emotions. Music. RnRoll.

If you cannot make a great song with a HiEnd 16 track Desk, you don't deserve to call yourself an AE.

(btw, in a setup with a 1608, you still have PT to take care of the remaining, and probaly useless, 100 additional tracks).
Old 29th August 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
AEs just got lazy.


If you cannot make a great song with a HiEnd 16 track Desk, you don't deserve to call yourself an AE.
Well I wouldn't go that far. For me I find that a big asset of mixing OTB is that I don't divide my senses between a monitor screen and the actual audio. Also I find being "hands on" allows me to work "in the moment" with eq's and dynamics in a way that is faster as well as more precise than mousing around on a monitor. Having said that, I'm anywhere between 18 and 32 tracks depending on how the drums are mic'd and what the BGV's are like as well as any other odds and ends that come up.

So the bottom line is that subgrouping within a DAW is STILL a compromise. So eventhough I may able to do just fine with 16 tracks, it doesn't mean I should have to. It's not a "best case scenario". It's really about cost and nothing else.
Old 29th August 2007
  #17
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
AEs just got lazy.

That we can nowadays use a billion tracks per song doesn't mean we have to.

...If you cannot make a great song with a HiEnd 16 track Desk, you don't deserve to call yourself an AE.

this is an interesting perspective; i don't see it as the AE's job to 'make a great song', i thought it was our job to capture and present the song that's brought to us. the number of tracks used would be down to the artist, songwriter, arranger, and producer, no?

if we're working off of tape, i've got a pretty good case for capping the number of tracks; but even then, bouncing and submixing can allow for more sounds than the machine can play back... witness the beatles. if there's a daw in the equation, all bets are off.

btw, i completely agree that limitations are a good thing. i think compromise is essential, even helpful, to creativity. i guess i'm just not clear on how the ballooning of track counts is down to lazy AE's.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 29th August 2007
  #18
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recall?
Old 30th August 2007
  #19
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subspace's Avatar
I'm working on a 16x8 Trimix with four sends and doing the rest in the box. I've got another 16 channel frame that I took out of the control room last month to do some upgrades on, halving my input count. It changes the way you work for sure. I used to just assign the first 32 tracks to the desk and figure out what to combine if I needed more channels. It's a nice old school way of working.
Now I assign all the tracks to a stereo output to start with and start breaking the mix out using post fader sends in PT. Quite often I'll leave the track in the ITB mix as well and just use the desk channel for parallel processing on that intrument. Soloing just the desk channel often sounds bizarre, until you combine it with the ITB mix. To get these channels into subgroups, you do end up splitting up the ITB mix into a few stems, but just those that require group processing in addition to the parallel processing.
Four sends doesn't make it for modern mixes so I use the ITB sends. Every channel that's split out on the desk needs a direct out back into PT for send functionality. It's an extra conversion trip, but if you're running to the converters on an H3000 or PCM90, you're probably not going to be hearing those extra steps.
Old 30th August 2007
  #20
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numrologst's Avatar
this kind of reminds me of when I used plugins for the first time.

I can put a compressor on every track...So I did...And my mixes sucked balls
I can have 96 tracks... I might as well use them all

Same kind of mentality in my book.
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